saturday 27 June 2020
St Cyril of Alexandria (370 – 444)
St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He was nephew of the patriarch of that city, Theophilus. Cyril wrote treatises that clarified the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation from heretical interpretations.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 27: 8-9
The Lord is the strength of his people, a saving refuge for the one he has anointed. Save your people, Lord, and bless your heritage, and govern them forever.
Grant, O Lord, that we may always revere and love your holy name, for you never deprive of your guidance those you set firm on the foundation of your love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Lamentations 2:2,10-14,18-19
The Lord has pitilessly destroyed all the homes of Jacob; in his displeasure he has shattered the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; he has thrown to the ground, he has left accursed the kingdom and its rulers. Mutely they sit on the ground, the elders of the daughter of Zion; they have put dust on their heads, and wrapped themselves in sackcloth. The virgins of Jerusalem hang their heads down to the ground. My eyes wasted away with weeping, my entrails shuddered, my liver spilled on the ground at the ruin of the daughters of my people, as children, mere infants, fainted in the squares of the Citadel. They kept saying to their mothers, ‘Where is the bread?’ as they fainted like wounded men in the squares of the City, as they poured out their souls on their mothers’ breasts. How can I describe you, to what compare you, daughter of Jerusalem? Who can rescue and comfort you, virgin daughter of Zion? For huge as the sea is your affliction; who can possibly cure you? The visions your prophets had on your behalf were delusive, tinsel things, they never pointed out your sin, to ward off your exile. The visions they proffered you were false, fallacious, misleading. Cry aloud, then, to the Lord, groan, daughter of Zion; let your tears flow like a torrent, day and night; give yourself no relief, grant your eyes no rest. Up, cry out in the night-time, in the early hours of darkness; pour your heart out like water before the Lord. Stretch out your hands to him for the lives of your children who faint with hunger at the entrance to every street.
Psalm 73(74):1-7, 20-21
R/ Do not forget your poor servants forever.
- Why, O God, have you cast us off forever? Why blaze with anger at the sheep of your pasture? Remember your people whom you chose long ago, the tribe you redeemed to be your own possession, the mountain of Zion where you made your dwelling.
- Turn your steps to these places that are utterly ruined! The enemy has laid waste the whole of the sanctuary. Your foes have made uproar in your house of prayer: they have set up their emblems, their foreign emblems, high above the entrance to the sanctuary.
- Their axes have battered the wood of its doors. They have struck together with hatchet and pickaxe. O God, they have set your sanctuary on fire: they have razed and profaned the place where you dwell.
- Remember your covenant; every cave in the land is a place where violence makes its home. Do not let the oppressed return disappointed; let the poor and the needy bless your name.
Gospel Acclamation: 2 Tim 1:10
Alleluia, alleluia! Our Saviour Jesus Christ abolished death and he has proclaimed life through the Good News. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 8:5-17
When Jesus went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven; but the subjects of the kingdom will be turned out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’ And to the centurion Jesus said, ‘Go back, then; you have believed, so let this be done for you.’ And the servant was cured at that moment. And going into Peter’s house Jesus found Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. That evening they brought him many who were possessed by devils. He cast out the spirits with a word and cured all who were sick. This was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah: He took our sicknesses away and carried our diseases for us.
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, O Lord, the sacrifice of conciliation and praise and grant that, cleansed by its action, we may make offering of a heart pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 144: 15
The eyes of all look to you, Lord, and you give them their food in due season.
Prayer after Communion
Renewed and nourished by the Sacred Body and Precious Blood of your Son, we ask of your mercy, O Lord, that what we celebrate with constant devotion may be our sure pledge of redemption.
Through Christ our Lord.
In today’s Gospel recounts a very rich profession of faith from a centurion who was not a Jew. The encounter was already a sign of the future role of Gentiles in the Christian community, which at first would be predominantly Jewish. The centurion asks Jesus to cure his servant who had become paralysed, but he draws our attention when he says, “Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured…” These words later became part of the liturgical text which we use just before Communion. Jesus is astonished at this beautiful expression of faith and foretells the future of the Church where Gentiles from all over the world would come and take possession of the Kingdom of God. What Jesus expects of his followers is that act of trust and surrender by which they can commit themselves to the power of God. As Jesus turns to the centurion he says, “Go back, then; you have believed, so let this be done for you.” The central theme in many other healings is the crucial element of faith in the people who approach Jesus. Faith is the only condition required. One’s position, race or gender is irrelevant.